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Reviewed by: JimmyO

Directed by: Various

Emily Deschanel
David Boreanaz
Eric Millegan

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What's it about
A forensic anthropologist expert and her FBI partner try to piece together crimes when the victims have deteriorated to… bones. And throughout Season 2, alien bones, nasty serial killers and a Blair Witch type scenario do not get in the way of clever dialogue and fun characters.
Is it good movie?
One thing television doesn’t need right now is more procedural crime shows. They are getting to the point of carbon copy entertainment and may well be as annoying as “reality television”. So where does that leave Bones? A procedural crime show that goes back to the basic ingredient of human remains, the skeleton. Whether they are covered in goo, buried in a sewer system, or even in a cave, they find them and analyze them. Once they have found the who and the why, the baddie is captured and all is well in the world. Not that it is as dull as this may sound, but the mystery behind the whodunit is not always that mysterious. And of course, the amazing equipment they have keeps it from being terribly believable. So as a crime show, it is frivolous and not as thought provoking or fascinating as it could be.

So what gives? What makes Bones stand out from all the other investigative shows? It’s all about the characters and the humorous approach taken. Both Emily Deschanel as Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan and David Boreanaz as FBI Special Agent Seely Booth take the show to a more playful place. Their banter, and Brennan’s trouble understanding the human animal make for an appealing twosome. Both performances are natural and believable. So even though the mysteries sometimes seem obvious or downright uninteresting, it’s not the mystery audiences might tune in to see.

Boreanaz brings to the table much of what worked in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and he thankfully avoids that awful accent he had in the flashback episodes of both. He is good in the right role, one that mixes his own brand of charisma. He has definite leading man capabilities when it comes to television. As for Deschanel, all I can say is… what a gene pool. Much like sis Zooey, she blends strength and this intellectual beauty that is stunning, yet a tad quirky. Emily carries Bones like a champ, making her a unique and wonderful character. The key ingredient in a show with a male and female lead is that the audience will want them to hook up, whether they do or not. Let’s hope not here, because usually, when they do it’s death to the series.

Also giving the scripts zest is the talented supporting cast including Michaela Conlin as Brennan’s best friend Angela, Eric Millegan as Zack, T.J. Thyne as Jack and newcomer to the show in Season 2, the lovely Tamara Taylor as the wannabe tough new boss. This is a show that holds your interest mostly because of the cast, and the fun dialogue that is on display between them. Yes, there are a couple of cool plot lines including “The Headless Witch in the Woods” which not only plays with The Blair Witch legend, it also smartly casts Josh himself, Joshua Leonard from the film. Also a nice bit of casting is Brennan’s father played by Ryan O’Neal and a psychiatrist played by the wonderful Stephen Fry. All of them, having fun with their roles. After all, it is the characters that make the strongest part of this skeleton.
Video / Audio
Video: A terrific 1.78:1 transfer. As clear as could be expected.

Audio: Also pretty terrific is the 5.1 Dolby Surround which makes that drill seem even creepier. It also makes the title theme by Crystal Method sound even cooler.
The Extras
For such an entertaining show, it’s too bad that the special features seem to be so weak. The boney extras include two Commentaries including one for “The Glowing Bones in the Old Stone House” with Emily Deschanel, Director and Emily’s dad, Caleb Deschanel, and Executive Producer Stephen Nathan. This is an entertaining track, and it’s fun to hear Caleb and Emily together. Too bad we didn’t have more commentaries like this.

The next commentary is “Stargazer in a Puddle” with Series Creator Hart Hanson, and Executive Producers Barry Josephson and Stephen Nathan. This is another entertaining track where these folks talk about casting Ryan O’Neal, and why and how he named some of the characters. Again, why did they only do two of these?

Next up are two featurettes including The Memories in the Season (15:40) which is also a decent watch but a bit of the typical behind the scenes type of extra. Next up we have Visceral Effects: The Digital Illusion of Bones (12:22) which explores the CG behind the show. Both of these features are nice, and would have made a really great DVD set even better, but when this is the highlight, it is a pretty weak set indeed.

How about some Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Executive Producer Barry Josephson and Stephen Nathan (7:57). Again, not a bad extra at all and I liked some of these moments. It is also nice to hear the Exec’s prove to be interesting on the commentary tracks. Truly a case of less is less when it comes to this set.

Don’t worry, I won’t forget the Gag Reel (7:37). There is a lot of the word “shit” going around as the actors flub their lines. I liked this one a lot, and that probably comes from liking the actors. Not a bad little extra but again, they couldn’t have added more onto this set?
Last Call
Bones is built on the idea of a forensic anthropologist who identifies the victim and criminal with whatever is left of their remains. The dead speak volumes with some uber-cool looking equipment that I’m guessing nobody really has. It also delivers some gooey goodness in the form of slime, maggots and a bathtub filled with who knows what. But there is very little tension because when it comes to the crime, Bones mostly plays it safe. Yet, with Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, and a strong supporting cast, the show feels smart and is an easy watch. I root for them just because they are so likable. And luckily, they have some fun dialogue to spout off of each other. A light, entertaining forensics show that works whether the crimes do or not.
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT

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